Apple’s new MagSafe iPhone 12 charger has limitations. But the Elago MS1 Charging Stand wraps around Apple’s simple puck and makes it better.
I tested this useful accessory on my desk and at my bedside. Here’s why I like it.
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Elago MS1 Charging Stand for MagSafe review
Apple created MagSafe last autumn as a way to improve wireless charging. Magnets set into the back of the iPhone 12 as well as into the desktop charger ensure that their charging coils line up and stay that way. Even better, it doubles the charging speed — the handset can receive 15 watts, up from 7.5W with non-MagSafe chargers.
It’s a good system. But it’s very new, and the aren‘t very many products that use it yet. Rather than make a whole new charger, Elago instead swiftly created a stand that holds Apple’s own charging puck.
And improves on it. It doesn’t leave your iPhone flat on the desk; instead, the MS1 holds the display up so that you can see it when you’re working or sleeping. Plus, it brings more color options.
Hardware and design
The Elago MS1 Charging Stand is a single piece of silicone. The whole unit is 4.3 inches tall, 3.1 inches wide and 3.75 inches deep. It doesn’t take up much room on my desk or nightstand, and the bulk it does have is necessary to provide a stable platform to hold the iPhone 12. You won’t knock it over with a light touch.
And it genuinely improves the look of the Apple MagSafe charger. The puck by itself looks fine… if you happen to like aluminum painted white. Elago offers a range of color options to wrap around it: black, jean indigo, sand pink and stone.
Plus, the charger alone leaves the handset flat on its back where it’s hard to see. With the MS1, the iPhone 12 is held up at a 125 degrees angle. That’s 35 degrees past vertical, which I find a comfortable angle to see the handset’s screen when I’m typing on another computer.
Just so there’s no confusion, The MS1 isn’t a charger and doesn’t come with one. It’s a stand that holds the iPhone MagSafe charger in a circular, recessed slot. A channel in the bottom makes room to run the power cable out.
Also, MagSafe works only with the iPhone 12 series. Any of the 2020 models can be used with Elago’s stand, but not any handset made before then.
The benefits of magnets
Don’t worry that the iPhone 12 will ever fall off the stand on its own. The MagSafe magnets hold tightly. I can tap on the screen, even thump the front or back of the handset and it won’t stir. I have to slightly pry the phone off the stand to pick it up.
And the magnets have advantages. Landscape and portrait — it’s your choice. Heck, you could do a 37% angle if you really wanted.
Elago MS1 Charging Stand for MagSafe final thoughts
MagSafe for iPhone is great. And Apple’s first-generation charging puck is fine. Within limits. But the Elago MS1 Charging Stand improves on it. This add-on looks better, and makes the iPhone 12 more useful by holding the screen up where you can see it.
The MS1 is $24.99 in the Cult of Mac store. You’ll need an Apple MagSafe Charger to use it if you don’t have one already, raising the total price to $63.99.
For comparison, consider that the Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro 2-in-1 Wireless Charger Stand with MagSafe costs $99.95. It also has an AirPods charger, but is still considerably more.
Also, Belkin’s charger isn’t available at the time of this writing. MagSafe is really new — Apple only introduced it in fall 2020 — and there aren‘t many accessories for it yet. A big advantage of the Elago MS1 is that you can get it and Apple’s charging puck today.
Elago provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.